Moving Beyond the Ending Brought Blessing

Ecclesiastes-3-1The 5-year anniversary of a big ending in my life is coming up at the end of the month. My dad and I were co-owners of a Sylvan Learning Center in Hutchinson, KS.  I loved what I did.

Sylvan Learning Center gave me a chance to use all of my gifts and talents in exactly the way that made me excited to go to work every day.

I even thought of Sylvan and my time in Hutchinson as my Promised Land (read more about that here).

But it came to an end.

 

2 years after Ron and I were married I was still living part-time on the farm and part-time in Hutchinson (they were 90 miles apart) in order to keep the business going.  Enrollment had been dwindling and things had been changing with the business for a while.  But at the end of the Summer in 2011 all but 14 of my students stopped their programs.  There was no way to keep the doors open.

I had been sensing change was coming for a while but as usual God had to make it impossible for me to ignore Him in order for me to give up and jump on board with the change.  It was time to move on.

I’m so thankful God’s hand was obviously in the midst of it all. 

 

In 6 short weeks, my house was sold, all the assets of the business were gone.  Everything else was all packed up and moved to the farm.

It was the end of being a small business owner (for a while), the end of being my very own boss, the end of a dream I didn’t even know that I had.

 

As I have said so many times before God is good.  Just taking the time to look to Him we will see His provision. Though my certificate was expired since I never thought would teach again, I was able to walk into a part-time teaching job in October.

I was blessed with a great environment and a bunch of kids I fell in love with.

I was able to teach while I completed my coach training and here I am today.  A small business owner again loving my job, feeling blessed and called to my work.

That’s the thing about life, there are endings, they are natural, even if we don’t feel they are.  I’m sure there are some of you, like me, that fight endings with all you got.

 

Dr. Henry Cloud’s book Necessary Endings * has been a great read for me.  It states that “when we fail to end things well, we are destined to repeat the mistakes that keep us from moving on.”(p12)  Not ending well will often lead us to make choices that bring us to the same places again and again.

Not learning our lessons or dealing with endings will set us up to make the same mistakes over and over again.

Learning how to do endings well and how to process the experience allows us to move beyond patterns that can keep us stuck.  Moving forward allows us to embrace what’s next.

 

I have Ecclesiastes 3:1 on the wall in our bedroom to remind me of how God created this world to have endings.  “To everything there is a season, a time to every purpose under the heavens.”

We have to learn to realize that somethings are only for that time, only in that season are we meant to stay there.  When it’s time for an end, it’s time for a new season, not the end of everything just the end of that season.

So if you are facing an ending today, face it with the Lord.  He can give you a new purpose, He can help you see what is next. 

 

If you need help building a new dream or even learning to like this new season, coaching can help.  I would love to talk with you about coaching.       Contact Me .

 


How do you face endings?  I would love to hear about an ending that has you stuck or moving into new blessing!


It can’t be the end….

This is the end; things haven’t been good for a while but it didn’t mean that I was expecting that phone call.  A phone call from my husband’s girlfriend?   Who sees that coming?   I sure didn’t. 2 Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story— those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, (1)

He had cheated before and I knew things hadn’t been good but I never dreamed he would cheat again.  The Lord and I had been talking a lot about my marriage and I knew a big change was coming.   I just didn’t know that this was it.

Me divorced; of all the people you know I would not be the one you expect to be divorced.  I was deeply saddened but I knew now, this is the path I was to go down.

But how do I live like this?  How do I hold my head high and tell people I’m divorced?  Divorce is for people who gave up on there a marriage, not me. I fought, I fought for almost 10 years to make this marriage work.  I forgave the first affair.  How was I supposed to live divorced?

It felt like such a failure.

As time went on and I moved into a new phase of life it was difficult, it was embarrassing.   But I knew I had been released from my covenant of marriage.  I just didn’t know how to communicate that to others.  I knew how judgmental I had been regarding divorce, I just hated for people to look at me like that.

Then I met Alice.

Alice attended the church that I was attending.  We met in small group setting where she shared her testimony.  I will never forget what a blessing it was to meet Alice.  She was a few years older than me and she was happily married to her second husband.

Alice was an amazing, godly woman who had a testimony and ministry in our church.  She loved people and she loved her husband.  Because she was willing to share her story of divorce and remarriage I found hope.  Hope that I would have a ministry again too.

I also had hope that there might be a happily ever after marriage in my life someday.

Today when people meet my husband and I they never guess that we’ve only been married for 6 short years.  We fit together like a hand and glove or salt and pepper.  We love each other dearly and you are able to be committed and live what a godly marriage looks.

Marriage today is easy, unlike in my first marriage that was always very difficult.  Sometimes it is hard to say I’m thankful that the Lord took me through that, but I know that I am the person I am today because of that journey.

I cherish my husband now.  I honor and respect him.  I’m so thankful to have an opportunity to have a marriage like I do today.  

I hope and pray that as I share my story through this blog that I will be an encouragement to you.  That you will know that no matter how hard life seems, no matter how unfair things are and no matter what happens to you …even when you think it’s something that could never happen to you.  You can move past it, you can, there’s hope!

Our God is sovereign, he loves us more than you know and his plans are perfect!  Trust Him and walk close beside Him through this time to the life you didn’t know could exist.

If you are still searching for hope and a relationship with the Lord who loves you more than you know please reach out to me.  I would love to talk with you about Him.

Nancy

Nancy is a 62 year old writer, teacher and soul care coach, married to Jim for 41 years.  They live in a beautiful wooded subdivision near Madison, WI. They have two grown children- Adam (daughter in love, Joanna) and Elizabeth and three delightful grandchildren – Nora 3, Audrey 2 and Jay who is 9 months.

Nancy has struggled with depression and will share with us how she is transitioning into a new place in life with her depression & healing.

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What was the most difficult part about your transition?

Currently, I am working on the healing of depression which I have gone in and out of for the past 20 years.  I always thought that if I just did a little more or found the right medicine or the right therapist that I would be “cured”.  And I have finally discovered, that while my depression ebbs and flows, it is a part of me to embrace and learn about its gifts, which has been a huge transition.  I think acceptance has been the hardest part of my transition.

 

What did you find most helpful in this transition? 

This last fall, at a retreat, God met me personally with the verse, “Are you here for some healing?” from John 5:6.  I was so startled because that was exactly why I was there.  Over the course of the weekend, He continued to minister me personally, reminding me, “Daughter I know your name, “ and “You are blessed to be a blessing.”  I came away from that weekend much more healthy and whole as well as hopeful, knowing that God had me nestled in His arms.

That weekend has been a turning point in knowing health and wholeness in my depression. In spite of flares that may occur, God is right there, holding my hand, whispering in my ear, “Daughter I know your name.”  I am working on accepting that He’s the one doing the healing, leading and giving me hope.  I look for ways I can be grateful.  I don’t have to work so hard  or be frustrated when things don’t turn out the way I would like.  He is able and I am to rest in that.

 

What would you like to share with others going through this transition? 

I would encourage you in whatever reoccurring trouble you face to keep focused on the God who loves you more than you can imagine.  When I keep my focus on Him, I find the peace that passes all understanding.  It is a daily process and some days I certainly do better than others.

He reminds me that He has my right hand. For I hold you by your right hand— I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you. Isaiah 41:13.

Debbie

      Debbie has been married to Leonard for 25 1/2 years. The day Debbie      said I do, she became an instant step-mom to his 3 daughters, 1 was  married and the other 2, Irene & Anna, were still teenagers.  With much  prayer, they all learned to love each other and live together pretty well  through the years.  Then Stephanie arrived, their daughter together.    There is nothing like a house full of girls…..I asked Debbie to share with me what it was like to transition to an empty nest.

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What was the most difficult part of your transition?

Our older daughter, Irene, went away to college and that was the first adjustment. I missed her like crazy but she came home pretty often and I still had the younger one, Anna, at home plus I was pregnant. I was super busy keeping up with Anna’s activities and busy with morning sickness!

When it came time for Anna to leave home and get married, we were so happy for her, but also missed her like crazy too! When each daughter left, it felt like part of my heart left with them!

 

The Lord just kept me going and I remember praying and drawing close to Him through it all.

Then I really got busy with my one year old daughter and all of her activities. Plus I started meeting new friends in the neighborhood who had little girls and got busy with play dates and that sort of thing.

So then fast forward 18 years later when our youngest and last daughter, Stephanie, was ready to leave the nest. I had always had a very close relationship with all of our girls. We did a lot of things together and just enjoyed time hanging out.

Stephanie decided that she wanted to become teacher and go to Emporia State college which is about an hour and a half away. We had prayed and prayed and that is where she felt led to go. So I really had to lean on Jesus at this point!

Let me back up a bit and tell you that at this time also, my husband was traveling for work through most of Stephanie’s Senior year. Since he had been gone, it had just been Stephanie and I doing most everything together and now I was having a very hard time thinking that she was going to be gone all of a sudden!

Even though my husband was back home at this point, we had  to take our daughter up to a town I wasn’t very familiar with and drop her off at a college I didn’t know much about! She seemed excited to go and I was really trying to be brave and support her in every way possible.

When it came time to leave her there and come home without her, I was devastated! I remember holding it together as we drove away, until she couldn’t see me anymore and I couldn’t hold back the tears any longer.

Leaving her there and coming home without her was the most difficult part of this transition for me!

What do you think was most helpful for you to move into the hope and peace you were needing?

I can remember pouring my heart out to the Lord and asking Him to help me through this very difficult time in my life! Before, when the other daughters left, there was always another daughter still here at home,  but not this time. I have to admit that I felt a little lost.

For years, my job, which I loved, was to help and take care of my girls.  Now all of a sudden, I wasn’t needed as much anymore and I was needed in a different way. I felt like I was suppose to only help and give advice when I was asked or from a distance. Wow what a change for me!

I sincerely prayed with my whole heart for the Lord  to help me and lead me down the right path that He would have me to go and show me what He wanted me to  do.

Was there a special verse the Lord used to encourage you during this time?

I had a few scriptures that really helped me through this time.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 

And the last ones are about putting on the whole armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-17. 

 

How did your faith grow from this transition time in your life?

My husband knew I was hurting inside even though I put on a brave face and kept plugging along. So he did something very helpful for me. He asked me to go along with him while he worked out of town. He said he thought a change of scenery would do me good. So I went with him and that was one of the best things I could have done.

Also getting my mind off of myself and onto the Lord was key for me. It isn’t easy sometimes, but it is so worth it.

What would you like someone the middle of a similar transition to know?

Even though this transition in my life was really hard to go through, I can look back and see that God was leading me and taking care of me the whole time. He taught me that no matter what happens to us, He will always be there to pick us up. He will never leave us or forget about us.

He wants the best for us and for us to rely on Him no matter what our circumstances or how many transitions we go through. So I will leave you with one final scripture that summed up my difficult transition and maybe yours…Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6.

The Blessing of a Spounse!

The blessing of a spouse!

Most of us longed to find the person who would love us the rest of our life.  My dream like most was to grow up, get married and have kids.  As I have shared before I was married right out of college and it was a very long difficult 10 years and I did not get my happily ever after.

But when I saw this quote by Max Lucado I loved it.  It is easy for time to go by and for us to forget what a treasure we have in our spouse. Life is busy, the chores of  running a house and making a living can easily distract you from the importance of valuing your spouse.  Showing your deep passion and loving them in the middle of it all will make a difference.

Proverbs 18:22

“He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD”

 

The farmer and I have been married almost 6 years now and I have found my happily ever after.  I am so thankful that I have done a better job of never letting my love for him go unspoken.  I have treasured him and told him about it daily.  I have proudly kept him a priority.  As I have done all these things he has been doing them as well.

Marriage is a beautiful partnership.  Having someone to love and serve the Lord with is a dream come true.  The death of a marriage is a very difficult time in anyone’s life.  But like in all things God’s love never weavers.  He is still faithful and will love and support you through it.  There is hope.

 

What are some of the most important things you have found to you help keep your spouse a treasured priority in your life?

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